Bootcamp fitness programs have grown in popularity over the past few years, offering couch potatoes and fitness enthusiasts
alike, the opportunity to undertake military-style training. The variety and flexibility of bootcamp programs is impressive, allowing people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels to challenge
themselves. Make no mistake, this is serious training, and not for the feint-hearted. Shuttle sprints, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, split squats
, lunges, group drills – and repeat – the programs are designed to offer a high-intensity, high-impact training experience. However the exponential growth of these programs around the country, and also internationally, suggests that the bootcamp trend is here to stay (at least until the next big craze hits).
Based on the principles of military fitness training, bootcamps are designed to simulate the drills and exercises used with military personnel. Instructors offer a combination of activities to improve cardiovascular fitness and to strengthen and tone key muscle groups. In addition to be great for your heart and muscles, bootcamp session can help you burn a lot of calories
, roughly from 500 to 800 or even 1000 calories, depending on your level of fitness, and of course, the severity of your bootcamp instructor! While the courses are designed to offer an intense training experience, most bootcamp instructors are willing to tailor programs and exercise drills to meet the needs of individual participants. However, it is important to note that there are many different styles of bootcamp training, depending on the style of the instructor. You can get the face-screaming Jillian Michaels style instructor, or you can get the “great job, keep going” positive reinforcement style bootcamp instructor. Make sure to seek out the instructor that is a good fit for your needs
Kick-starting your fitness program
Bootcamps are a great way to help kick-start your fitness regime, or give you a boost if you find yourself getting into a rut, or hitting a fitness plateau
. They are also increasingly reaching into more specialized markets, offering ‘teen bootcamps for young people or ‘stroller bootcamps’ for new mothers who want to shed the excess weight gained during pregnancy. The newest is the TRX Suspension Trainer bootcamp. Killer! The breadth and diversity of bootcamps means you’re likely to find one to suit you.
One of the great features of bootcamp is the support and inspiration you can gain from other participants. Because the bootcamp is modelled on military training, it’s easy to build a sense of camaraderie and team spirit. By supporting and encouraging each other, you can get better results, both as individuals, and also as a group. Regular attendance at bootcamp can also help deliver real results in a relatively short period of time. Many participants report seeing results as early as week four and by week eight, you’re likely to have experienced significant weight and inch loss, along with greatly improved fitness and muscle strength. Again, this depends significantly on the intensity of your work out, and other factors including diet
, however bootcamps definitely offer the opportunity to see results – and fast.
Do your research
If the idea of a bootcamp appeals to you, do your research. As mentioned above, it’s important to choose an instructor who not only fits your needs, but one who is also well-qualified – most will be more than willing to share their training credentials with you. Many camps also offer a free introductory session, so you can try before you buy. So if you are looking to break a serious sweat, burn mega calories, build endurance, and strengthen and tone your muscles, bootcamp workouts could be the perfect fit for you.